Oh, Harbour Bridge

Oh, Harbour Bridge
Why’d you have to be so grey?
I drove her to the airport
And I ran out of things to say;
The colour of the girders
The colour of the day
All the colours, washing away
— Don McGlashan

One of my favourite things about Don McGlashan's songwriting (and there are many) is this - the choice he makes about the perspective, or point of view, of the characters in a song. 

Harbour Bridge is a perfect example - it's a song about parting, about breaking up with someone you love; but the person singing it manages to pin all their problems on the various failings of...the bridge they're driving across.

If only bridge weren't so grey / long / high / convenient, he'd have been able to think of, and say, everything he wanted to tell her; and, maybe, she'd have stayed...

If you asked someone from Sydney, who'd grown up here, they'd probably consider this bridge more of a landmark than the Opera House. After all, it's bigger, it's been here longer, and a lot more people use it every day. The Opera House? That's for the tourists.

But the reality is, they're in a codependent relationship; each gives a great view of the other, and from anywhere nearby, they're so close as to be practically touching.

So naturally, given how often I'm crossing one, or working at the other, I hear this song in my head a LOT. Which is okay.

For my part, at least, I don't blame the bridge.

Oh Harbour Bridge
Why’d you have to be so long?
I had some things to tell her
But I looked and she was gone;
She says we can be free now,
It’s time to move along,
All the clouds are drifting
All the clouds are drifting, to the sun
— Don McGlashan

Robert Catto

PO Box 806, Darlinghurst, NSW 1300, Australia

I'm a Canadian photographer now living in Sydney Australia, specialising in performing arts, live events, editorial and corporate / commercial work.